Sumiko Pearl Cartridges

3.8/5 (5 Reviews) MSRP : $125.00


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Product Description

phono cartridge moving-magnet design,channel separation: 30 dB,frequency response 12-30


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Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

User Reviews

Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by johnjohn a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 23, 2013

Bottom Line:   
A very good cartridge for the money. A bit rough around the edges but full and satisfying sound with good drive and bold tuneful bass. Great for vintage turntables - I find it a perfect match with my Thorens TD145. The sprung table builds on the cartridge's robust and dynamic character, expands the soundstage and smoothes the roughness. Did not sound as good on tighter more neutral tables like my TD2001 or SL1800. These tables tend to reveal the cartridge's negative attributes ahead of its strengths. Should not partner with amps and speakers that are too analytical.

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Used product for:   1 to 3 months

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:2
Value Rating:3
Submitted by DKim a AudioPhile

Date Reviewed: December 26, 2012

Bottom Line:   
First impression was that it sounds liquid smooth and mellow, with an agreeable sonic character. Further evaluation revealed that the soundstage is extremely narrow and tight, and although the sound is overall polite and non-fatiguing, it is very mushy, muffled, and severely lacking in detail. I would not recommend it. Associated equipment is VPI HW-19 turntable custom modified with JVC TT-81 direct drive motor, JVC UA-5045 tonearm, Mcintosh MA-6900 integrated amp, Gradient Revolution speakers (non-active version).

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   AudioPhile

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by RaphaelMabo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 4, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Sumiko Pearl is a musical and sweet sounding cartridge. It excels in digging out the heart and soul and giving music life and space. Bass is solid and firm, midrange sweet and articulated, treble is airy and free of hard edges. A bit laid back in character with a tight soundstage. Excellent tracking and unsensitive to worn out records, concentrates more on bringing out the music rather than exposing faults and errors with the records.
Not the most detailed cartridge for the price, but one of the most musical ones.

My system:
Sumiko Pearl catridge, Thorens TD280 MkII turntable, Thorens MM01 phono pre-amp, Alchemist Nexus amplifier, ALR Jordan Entry 2M speakers.

Music I listen to: Soul, r'nb, reggae, new wave from the 80's, pop, dance tracks.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:5
Value Rating:5
Submitted by Raphael Mabo a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: September 3, 2010

Bottom Line:   
Sumiko Pearl is an excellent cartridge with solid and firm bass, sweet and detailed midrange and spacious treble. My old and well used discs comes truly alive, and the cartridge is not bothered by Mr Pop, Crack and Scratch. It is silent and not sensitive to static electricity. I play soul, r'nb, classic 80's new wave, reggae, dub, synth tunes and dance tracks. The Pearl handles them all well. It is a well balanced, rhytmic and detailed sound that is all about music.

I use it mounted on my Thorens TD280 MkII with Thorens TP28 tonearm, connected to Thorens MM01 phono pre-amp. I previously used the Goldring 2200, which was a more analytical high resolution cartridge. Compared to the Pearl, the Goldring was sharper and more forward sounding. Pearl has brought the soul back, candy to my ears. Sound is close to the Denon DL-110 that I used to have years ago, but the Pearl sounds more well balanced.

The Pearl tracks very well.

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Used product for:   Less than 1 month

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2010



Overall Rating:4
Value Rating:5
Submitted by whell a Audio Enthusiast

Date Reviewed: January 4, 2009

Bottom Line:   
I picked this up from Needle Doctor as a customer return. This is my second time around with a Sumiko Pearl. The first one I had sold to upgrade the needle on a Shure V15 IV. Well, the Shure is gone and I was lucky enough to find a Pearl for a reasonable price.

This is 2nd from the bottom of Sumiko's product line, and one of only 2 moving magnet cartridges that Sumiko markets. Below the Pearl is the Oyster with a conical stylus, and above it is the Blue Point #2.

Sumiko makes no significant info available about the Pearl or the Oyster, compared the info it makes available about its pricier High Output Moving Coil products. So, here's some info I've gleaned from elsewhere on the internet:

Cartridge Type MM
Frequency Response (Hz) 12Hz-30kHz
Output Voltage/Channel (mV) 4mV
Channel Separation (dB) 30dB
Channel Balance (dB) 0,5dB
Compliance 15mm/N
Stylus size/shape (mil) Elp. 0,2x0,8mm
Load Impedance 47kOhm
Tracking Force Range (grams) 1.5 - 2.0

The cantilever on this stylus is quite stiff, even though the Pearl is meant for medium compliance tonearms. This simply means that the cartridge takes a bit longer to break in. 50 hours of playing time seems to be the norm. I can't emphasize this enough, as your initial listening experiences might seem unsatisfactory. The highs will sound more rolled off at first. But, its worth the wait, as at around 50 hours the cartridge starts to come into its own, and the highs become a smooth and glare free as one could want in a cartridge that costs under $100.

The best performance I've achieved with the Pearl is when the VTF is set to 2 grams, and the anti skale is set below the VTF at about 1.6 grams. It helps also to play with VTA a bit to get the stylus dialed to track on with your tonearm. Once the parameters are set to your satisfaction, and do play with these a bit, the fun begins.

The Pearl adds nothing, and subtracts nothing, from the listening experience. It provides a fatigue free listening experience, with smooth highs, a well balanced midrange, and a articulate and commanding low end that does not boom.

If your budget is in the $300 or less range, I'd suggest this cartridge worthy of your consideration. It is not the best cartridge I've ever heard, but in its price range, I'm hard pressed to think of another cartridge that provides as honest a listening experience as the Pearl is capable of.

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Used product for:   More than 1 year

Duration Product Used:   Audio Enthusiast

Product model year:   2008

Price Paid:    $55.00

Purchased At:   Needle Doctor




Reviews 1 - 5 (5 Reviews Total)

Review Options:  Sorted by Latest Review | Sort by Best Rating


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